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ERIC Number: EJ937272
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 0
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0145-9635
Bridging the Research-Practice Divide: A Call for School-Centered Research
de Forest, Jennifer
Independent School, v69 n3 Spr 2010
Education researchers constantly bemoan teachers as resistant to implementing their findings. At the same time, teachers complain that education research is either too esoteric to be of any use in a real classroom or an exercise in proving the obvious. This persistent research-practice chasm is maintained by both the prosaic details of how and where one works, and by a more profound epistemological schism that cleaves researchers and practitioners into two separate worlds that tend to dismiss the legitimacy of each other's wisdom. In the former, knowing must at least appear to be systematically built on data; in the latter, authority comes from the practical trial-and-error experience of doing. This knowing-versus-doing divide is exacerbated by the fact that researchers and practitioners belong to their own organizations, attend separate conferences, read different publications, and, often, speak a different jargon. As a result, despite the efforts of an occasional intrepid translator who traverses these worlds, many good ideas on how to improve schooling stall at the research-practice border where they languish, unshared or forgotten. Independent schools are particularly well poised to open the research-practice border by providing fertile ground for collaborations that can generate knowledge that both is usable and meets the standards for sound research. By resurrecting the practice of school-centered research, many independent schools also have the opportunity to reclaim a progressive legacy that has largely withered over the last century as "college prep" has come to dominate their purposes, and as universities have claimed the sole legitimacy for conducting education research. While, by many measures, the nation's independent schools are certainly good enough, there are at least three overarching reasons why independent schools should consider venturing into the research-practice divide: (1) improving their own practice; (2) contributing to the professionalization of teaching; and (3) promoting the greater educational good. (Contains a list of suggested resources.)
National Association of Independent Schools. 1620 L Street NW Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-793-6701; Tel: 202-973-9700; Fax: 202-973-9790; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A